Ron picks up his narration. After their car returns to normal, Ron and Denver keep driving to look for another of Denver’s relatives, Aunt Pearlie May. They find her and her husband living in a tiny destitute shack. Pearlie May tells them about her indoor toilet that she’d bought with years’ worth of bootlegging beer, only the toilet doesn’t actually work yet, so she still uses the outhouse. As they are driving away, Ron, shocked that such places exist in America, has the “images of poverty and squalor burned [into his] brain like hated tattoos.” Ron thanks Denver for showing him and Denver tells Ron that being homeless in Fort Worth was a “step up” from growing up in Red River Parish.
Denver’s declaration—that being homeless in Fort Worth was still better than the poverty he had known in Louisiana—once again points to the inaccuracy of people’s assumptions about each other. Although both Ron and perhaps the reader see Denver’s homelessness as the greatest burden, the lowest state of existence for a human being, for Denver, it was better than living out his days as a sharecropper.